Rochdale Elliott Street Modern Methodist chapel, Wardleworth-brow

an offshoot from the Primitive Methodists

Rochdale Elliott Street Modern Methodist chapel

Full details of researches into this chapel are given in the download below; what follows is a summary

‘Modern Methodism’

I have been unable to find much information on this offshoot of the Primitives.

During Autumn 1867, a large number of newspapers from all over England, Wales and Scotland printed a ‘list of denominations certified to the Registrar-General.’  This was presumably a product of the Registrar-General’s ‘1867 List of all buildings registered for public worship’.  There were 91 sects on the list, apparently nearly all Christian variants.  The eight Methodist variants included Modern Methodists, Primitive Methodists and Wesleyan Methodist Association.

According to the Rochdale Observer, 7 August 1858:

MODERN METHODIST TEA PARTY. –A new sect, an offshoot from the Primitive Methodists, last Saturday, held a tea party in the [Rochdale] Public Hall.

Rev. James Seager (stationed in Rochdale from 1856 as the Primitive Methodist minister) became the Elliott Street chapel minister in 1858.  Presumably he thereby lost his minister’s stipend so that by 1861 he was having to support his family as a tea trader and draper.

The Elliott Street Chapel

November 1858: A lease was set up on the chapel and land.  Presumably the chapel came into use for worship soon afterwards.

Elliott Street can be seen on the 1890 1-to-500 OS town map.  It lies just off Yorkshire Street, a stretch of the road from Rochdale to Halifax, about half a mile north east of Rochdale town centre.  The chapel is not apparent.

By 1861 a large school had been established (‘upwards of 300’ scholars and teachers attended a parade).

By 1863, the society had defaulted on its mortgage and the chapel was put up for auction.  The new owner placed the keys back in the hands of the society, who set about raising funds.  Mr Seager approached people outside the town for contributions.  Services continued in the chapel.

1865:  A letter was printed in the local paper under the title “THE SUSPECTED IMPOSITION” questioning Mr Seager’s credentials.  Mr Seager and three chapel members separately replied, asserting that he was still the minister and had ‘proper credentials’ for soliciting contributions towards the chapel.

1869:  The Elliott Street chapel was listed in a trade directory as a Primitive Methodist Place of Worship.

1872:  The two houses adjoining the chapel were put up for sale, presumably to reduce the chapel debt.

1874:  The chapel was put up for sale again.

I have not found any further reference to the chapel or what the building was used for after the 1874 sale.


No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.